Amendment for Annexation of Louisiana and Florida
[30 Aug.-7 Sep. 1803?]
Amendment to the Constitution.
Louisiana, as ceded by France to the US. is made a part of the US. But1 as to the portion thereof lying North of an East & West line drawn through the mouth of Arkansa river, no new state shall be established, nor any grants of land made, other than to Indians in exchange for equivalent portions of land occupied by them, until authorised by subsequent2 amendment to the Constitution.3
Florida also, whensoever it may be rightfully obtained, shall become a part of the US.4
MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 137:23687); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand; endorsed by him: “Louisiana.”
As originally written (see notes below), this document was a fair copy of the text of the amendment as TJ incorporated it into his letter to Levi Lincoln of 30 Aug.—including an alteration to that letter to refer to an east-west line from the mouth of the Arkansas River rather than “latitude,” the term used in the amendment as TJ sent it to Gallatin and Madison on the 23d and 24th, respectively. That evidence suggests that TJ did not create this manuscript before the 30th. It is unlikely that he worked on it after 7 Sep., when, in his letter to Wilson Cary Nicholas, he seems to have abandoned his plan for an amendment.
1. Word interlined in place of canceled “it’s white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights & obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the US. in analogous situations. Save only that.”
2. Preceding three words interlined in place of “an,” with “subsequent” substituted for canceled “further.”
3. TJ here canceled “shall be made for these purposes.”
4. TJ here canceled “it’s white inhabitants shall thereupon be citizens, & shall stand, as to their rights & obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the US. in analogous situations.”